Notes on Jon Kolko’s Product Dev Presentation

(From Jon’s presentation at Midwest UX, Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love, link here)

There are 2 ways to approach product development:

Product/Market fit depends on

  • The broad technological/political infrastructure (will this require tech/laws to be changed?)
  • Social precedence (does this already exist out in the world?)
  • Opportunity for engagement (will people give our product their attention and time–value proposition for a broad population)

Behavioral insights

  • Value–what are the individual’s value stories?
  • Identity-people want to see themselves in products
  • Provocation–how can this product make you do or think something new or different

Product management

  • Engineering initiated the idea of product management
  • Marketing picked it up: how do we tell the story of our brand? How does our story differentiate us from others?
  • Finally design came into the picture– especially at startups–where designers aren’t just doing graphics/UX but are considered strategic development partners
    • Design and innovation are now often seen as twins
    • Large orgs are slowly taking this position
    • With the drive to put computers into every products, it’s often designers who have to argue for what’s needed over what’s possible

Design’s new tactical toolbox includes:

  • Innovation
  • Positioning
  • Engagement
  • Value




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